Winter is definitely coming, but it was the last rays of autumn sunshine that greeted an expectant crowd outside the Freemasons Hall, London in late August, where 1,200 fans gathered to see George RR Martin and Robin Hobb live in conversation.
The event, hosted by publisher Harper Collins, saw two of the world’s foremost authors in fantasy fiction discuss their craft and their books in front of a live audience. It was also streamed live by Blinkbox to a worldwide audience. Production house Twentyfourseven Films headed by multi-cam director Béla Molnár oversaw the live stream.
“For this production we had four HD camera chains, featuring the Blackmagic Studio Camera, connected via optical fibre to two ATEM Studio Converters in our main video rack, giving us full talkback and tally and ensured that as the director I could talk with all four camera operators throughout the entire production,” explains Béla.
A big factor in deciding to shoot with the Blackmagic Studio Camera was its huge screen and the fact that my camera operators didn’t have to strain their eyes looking at a small screen or through a tiny eyepiece for the entire two-hour production. That made composing shots and focusing them much easier.”
The optical fibre signals are converted to SDI via the ATEM Studio Converter and sent to a Blackmagic ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K where Molnár produced his live programme feed. Each camera channel was monitored on two SmartScope Duos and a larger 17-inch SmartView HD preview monitor, also from Blackmagic.
“We recorded a master programme out on to SSD using a HyperDeck Studio Pro and equipped all four cameras with its own HyperDeck Shuttle to capture an ISO feed of each channel during the stream. This was a first in my professional career. Never had I used a workflow built entirely around a single manufacturer until now. And it all worked so beautifully well.”
“In my mind no other form of content requires more care and attention than a live stream,” concludes Béla. “Even big brands and companies can get it wrong, and that is why it’s important that you have reliable equipment and a crew that is trusted. It all comes down to confidence.”